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Aardman Delinquent Breaks Net

ANGRY KID, the love-or-loathe-him ginger-haired horror from the home of WALLACE AND GROMIT, has proved so popular even the Internet isn't big enough for him. The SUNDAY TELEGRAPH paper reports that the Aardman Animations character is to make the move to television. At present, there are twenty-five different Webisodes, each about a minute long, available on the AtomFilms Website. The character is played by an actor shot frame-by-frame (pixelation), wearing one of Angry Kid's four hundred masks. The series was launched exclusively online on May 8, 2000. (The planned release on Channel 4 collapsed because the content was judged too extreme for peak-time.) Seven weeks later it had been watched by a million people, an Internet record for a Web-based programme. Since then, the number has doubled. A third of viewers download the Webisodes and e-mail them to friends. Arthur Sheriff, spokesman for Aardman, said the company was talking with rival broadcasters the BBC, ITV and ironically Channel 4. "There is a lot of interest from television companies but we're holding out for the right deal. We would rather the Webisodes went out on a primetime show, rather than in a stand-alone late-night slot." Some will find this news alarming. The ANGRY KID Webisodes are closer to SOUTH PARK than WALLACE AND GROMIT. The action consists of sledgehammer-subtle gross-outs. For example, our hero brushes his teeth with the help of a vibrator, and sees his little sister turn into Linda Blair ("Shut the **** up, I'm trying to watch the telly!"). Valerie Riches, president of Family and Youth Concern, says, "If ANGRY KID becomes popular then youngsters will switch on to it. One wonders what the makers are trying to do as it seems pretty violent and unpleasant." Soon, British TV viewers can judge for themselves.

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